Updates on Various Fronts

Today, my school is hosting a mock debate, with a stand-in for Bush and a stand-in for Kerry. It should be quite interesting for an hour… the second hour of it is what worries me.

I have 160 poll-ballots ready to go for after the debate, so with any luck, we’ll get a much more accurate poll than we’ve ever gotten before. This one is simple, with only four or five questions — but there’s no ninth grade on campus today, because both varsity soccer teams and the varsity football team are away this morning. There’s hardly anyone on my dormitory.

In other news… my apartment is a mess. I have piles of clean laundry that I haven’t had time to fold; there are little mess-piles of student papers in the living room, by the computer, and in the study; the dining room table is still buried; there’s dirty laundry filling both laundry hampers; I haven’t finished unpacking from WordHarvest yet (has anyone seen my green packpack filled with all my chapbooks from the last ten years???); and I really need to empy the dishwasher, find a desk that I can actually use, get some 3-ring binders from Staples, and take my shirts to the dry-cleaners.

But other than that, the apartment looks fine.

What I really need to do is what my mom calls “Decrapinafying.” I need to do a ruthless sweep-through, throwing stuff away, putting stuff away, junking things I don’t need, giving away stuff I don’t want, and generally improving the living and working spaces of my apartment. I need to go through all my clothes and throw away the ragged-looking socks and underwear, get rid of the color-dulled t-shirts, and throw out the thread-bare collared shirts. I probably need about half the number of clothes that I actually seem to have these days.

It won’t be today, unfortunately. Maybe I can do some of this tomorrow, when I’m off duty. My mom thinks I should hire a cleaning person, since I have neither the time nor the focus to get all the cleanup done by myself — when she was here on tuesday, her dust allergy went off the moment she walked in the door, and I’ve noticed with the coming of cooler weather and the shutting of windows, that I too am beginning to suffer. Having a cleaning lady is not such a bad idea. I won’t be able to start this month, though — I need to think about that for November.

In other news, I’m starting a role-playing game session on Monday nights, from 6:30 to 9:30ish, in my apartment. This is part of the reason why I’m thinking about cleaning up this morning. If I’m going to have guys over to play games each Monday night, I want a space where they’re going to feel comfortable coming over to play.

The current plan is to use the D&D 3.5 rules, which is fine. I’d like to learn either World of Darkness/Storytellers/Exalted rules forward and backward, or D&D 3.5 forward and backward. I’m already writing for White Wolf, so learning their system thoroughly would give me some ability to expand from the Exalted line into writing for Werewolf, WoD, Mage, and so on. Learning D&D and D20 would give me the ability to write for Wizards of the Coast, or for any one of the various game companies producing D20 supplements, or to create my own for sale at RPGnow.com or elsewhere.

WIth that in mind, the game on Mondays will be D&D 3.5, probably with a lot of alternative rules and classes available. I’m planning on using not only the three basic books — PHB, DMG, MM — but also Arcana Unearthed, and Oriental Adventures. What such a game is going to look like yet, I don’t know. If you’re interested, and can come to northeast Connecticut on Mondays, please feel free to comment, and then show up.

As part of my prep for National Novel Writing Month, I’ve been putting together an old-school style composition book with character names, working titles for chapters, chapter summary pages, location pages, rough maps of places, bits of poetry that will go into it. I’m trying to write a two-paragraph summary of each chapter, on the theory that each paragraph will be a day of writing, since I’m planning on fifteen chapters. I could have done ten chapters, and made each chapter three days of writing, but I think this will be a better way of doing it.

The Worcester Review sent me a nice letter, asking for some revisions on two pieces, which I think I’ll make. Whether they’ll publish them or not, I don’t know, but we’ll see. It’d be nice. I have to find time today in my busy schedule to edit the two pieces, put them in RTF format, and send them in. I think their changes will make both pieces better, actually. It’s going to be good.

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